Welcome to Libertas Chambers Leading specialists in Business Crime, Professional Discipline & Asset Recovery

Libertas is a dynamic and progressive chambers, offering a range of specialisms across a national presence.

Forward-thinking set of chambers with a national presence

Libertas Chambers boasts an impressive array of experienced barristers in several practice areas.  We took advantage of recent challenges to rethink the model of a chambers based on criminal and regulatory law and set up on a virtual basis.

This enabled us to create a national service for solicitors and clients by having high quality conference suites in major cities. In London we retain premises in the heart of the City.

Our members provide a high-quality service with access to modern facilities throughout the country.

Read more about us

Areas of Practice & Expertise

Our carefully selected and highly skilled collection of experts provide a national and international service to all Libertas clients. Providing you with a first-class advocacy and advisory service across the following areas (and many more).

If you would like to discuss an alternative area of law please contact our clerking team who will provide you with immediate advice and support.

Business Crime

Our barristers have established national and international reputations for their expertise, experience and confidence in Fraud, Financial Services and Business Crime and Compliance – they are consistently ranked as leaders in the field. We advise and represent individuals and entities in relation to financial, regulatory, and fraud investigations in the UK, and overseas. Our clients include financial institutions and corporations, as well as politicians, entrepreneurs, company directors and chief executives, chartered accountants, lawyers, IFAs and medical and other professionals. We therefore have accumulated experience dealing with the Financial Conduct Authority, Serious Fraud Office, National Crime Agency, HMRC, National Trading Standards, FACT, as well as other investigating and prosecuting bodies. Many of our cases have an international dimension and we are accordingly experienced dealing with overseas authorities including the US Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and EU, Indian and Australian authorities. Practitioners specialise in trans-jurisdictional terrorist financing, proscribed wildlife trading, and export control violations. Members of our team have previously worked in the banking and commercial sectors and within their regulatory regimes. Others have had advisory and disciplinary roles regulating the accounting (FRC, ACCA, CIMA) and medical (GMC) sectors.  Some of us prosecute for these agencies as well as defending, and advise on and conduct internal investigations, or act as disclosure counsel. We understand how regulators and prosecution authorities work. Practitioners lecture and advise on corporate responsibility for human rights. We are often involved in an advisory role at the start of regulatory or criminal investigations. Our experience, attention to detail and dedication to our clients assists them in responding appropriately with the object of avoiding prosecution. When proceedings are commenced, we work to ensure that our clients receive the best advice and representation and, most importantly, a fair hearing. Our work covers a wide range of conduct, recently including: Bribery and corruption, including European government officials Cartel Offending Commercial property fraud Corporate compliance with human rights obligations Environmental protection, including carbon credit and land fraud, wildlife trading and international illegal logging EU, National and Devolved Government grant scheme frauds Export Control violations Fraud and cheating in the sports sector (cricket, rugby, horse-racing) Fraudulent trading Insider trading, market manipulation and abuse Insolvency and bankruptcy offending Intellectual property theft Investment (boiler-room) fraud and Ponzi mis-selling Money laundering, restraint, confiscation and asset forfeiture Pension mis-selling and liberation frauds Professional discipline Tax Evasion SPV’s inc. film and insurance schemes MTIC & carousel fraud PAYE, payroll and C.I.S. frauds Duty diversions Terrorist financing Trading Standards prosecutions in clothing, energy switching and ticketing sectors Web-site ghosting and internet advance-fee frauds Whistle-blowing and deferred prosecution agreements We advise and represent well-known corporate clients and individuals in sensitive situations with discretion as well as vigour. Please call our Clerking team on 020 7036 0200 to discuss any particular requirements you may have.

Defence Crime

Libertas Chambers brings together some of the country’s leading criminal defence specialists. Exceptional juniors and renowned Queens Counsel provide quality representation from the Supreme Court, through the Crown Courts across London and the Circuits and in the Magistrates Court. Members of Libertas Chambers also regularly appear in quasi-criminal jurisdictions where their experience in the criminal courts provides a cutting edge service in regulatory and professional disciplinary proceedings. Chambers accept instructions in both publicly and privately funded work and members provide specialist and strategic advice at all stages of a criminal case, from pre-charge investigation through to trial and appeal. Members of Chambers have appeared in some of the most high-profile criminal cases of recent times, including Operation Elveden (selling stories about Prince William and Prince Harry to The Sun), R v H and C [2004] 2 AC 134 (leading case on disclosure), R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8 (clarifying an error in the law in accessorial liability) and R v Lewis [2017] EWCA Crim 1734 on the approach to joint principalship. Members are regularly instructed in the following key areas of practice: Appellate Homicide Corporate manslaughter Terrorism Drug trafficking Serious and organised crime, including corruption and bribery International crime Human trafficking Modern Slavery Fraud Cyber crime Robbery Serious assaults Kidnaping Serious sexual offences Environmental health offences Trading standards prosecutions RSPCA prosecutions Our barristers offer expert advice to a wide range of external authorities and regularly provide training and lectures on current topics to other members of the legal profession, experts and those who work within the wider criminal justice system.

Regulatory

Our members have substantial experience defending individuals and companies in regulatory matters before professional tribunals or the FTT and above. What distinguishes us from other barristers specialising in regulatory work is that clients will have the benefit of our skills and experience as criminal advocates too. What is often required in contentious regulatory work is a robust defence, strategic advice and preparation, and skilful cross-examination of witnesses. The lack of hard-fought trial experience in some regulatory practitioners means that the witnesses may not be put under the degree of sustained pressure in cross-examination that the client is entitled to and expects. We believe that any individual or corporate entity that is facing a serious regulatory accusation is entitled to the same robust defence as a defendant in a criminal case. The consequence of a false regulatory accusation can be just as damaging and life changing as a false accusation of a criminal offence. Professionals can be vulnerable to malicious complaints. The only way to tackle these successfully is to use the skills honed in the criminal courts to uncover false accusations. We understand that these cases often cross over between criminal, civil, regulatory and disciplinary proceedings. We are also very aware of both the commercial and emotional impact these cases can have on clients and have a lot of experience supporting our clients through the challenges. We are also well-versed working with insurers, unions and defence organisations. The team includes trained mediators and members with experience working within the City and in house with regulators.

Public Law & Human Rights

Judicial Review proceedings enable challenges to decisions made by Courts and Tribunals, by regulators and by bodies whose public functions impact upon individuals and companies. This jurisdiction is an important protection of the rights of the individual against administrative irrationality or excess. We have specialist experience seeking Judicial Review in cases flowing from our other practise areas, challenging decisions in criminal and quasi-criminal investigations. Members have acted for claimants seeking to challenge decisions made by the police, the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the Information Commissioner, the Asset Recovery Agency, the Legal Services Commission, the Magistracy, Judges and various Tribunals. These cases have included challenges to the lawfulness of pre-charge search warrants, decisions to prosecute children, actions by solicitors resisting Special Procedure search warrants, challenges to the lawfulness of the application of the sending procedure by Magistrates Courts, preserving the anonymity of young offenders in extreme cases, applicability of the reasonable time requirements in Article 6 to enforcement of Confiscation Proceedings, decisions on appellate referral by the CCRC, treatment of prisoners and the review of Parole Board decisions. Within the criminal trial process, our members have expertise at first instance, on domestic appeal and applications in the European Court of Human Rights and the OHCHR, challenging a range of human rights violations, as well as the compatibility of primary and secondary legislation with the European Convention for the Protection of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms (ECHR) such as the hearsay provisions in CJA 2003, the reverse burden in s.90 Financial Services Act 2012, and the Attorney -General’s exercise of the right of nolle prosequi. We act nationally and internationally for people whose human rights are in issue in other forums including actions against the police, extradition, international law, in Prisoners’ Rights, and at Coronial Inquests. Members have advised and acted on behalf of individuals, governmental organisations and major NGO’s in providing international human rights expertise. Our members provide advice and representation in cases concerning Prison Law, including issues relating to the welfare of prisoners, to Parole Board hearings, and the release and recall of prisoners. Coronial Inquests engage the rights of many groups; members have experience representing interested parties, insurers and the families of the deceased. We offer particular expertise where there is a potential engagement of criminal or regulatory proceedings, acting for insurers and their policy holders.

Private Prosecutions

The prosecution of alleged criminals for wrongdoing is generally the domain of the Crown and its specialist agencies. But increasing budgetary constraints on investigating and prosecution agencies mean that a significant number of miscreants are able to avoid being held to account in the Criminal Courts for their actions. When State prosecutors decide that they cannot or will not prosecute, the law allows private individuals to prosecute allegations of wrong-doing. Initiating a private prosecution puts you in court as the prosecutor, adopting the mantle of the prosecution agency. Private prosecutions are a specialist area of the law. The right to prosecute, and seek punishment of offenders, brings with it the responsibility of ensuring a fair trial and the obligation to conform to all the rules applicable to any prosecuting agency. Those rules are often complex and diffuse. At Libertas Chambers, our barristers are experienced at liaising with potential prosecuting authorities and advising how to assemble the best case for the prosecution, taking the case to court and seeking justice, even where the Crown Prosecution Service or other prosecution agencies cannot or will not act. Importantly, this includes continuing advice on the recovery of compensation and some or all of the costs of litigation from defendants or from Central Funds. We start by helping you assess your evidence, advising you on the right forum in which to litigate, and on the merits of your case, then working with the best private prosecution solicitors to put together and finally to present your case at trial, ensuring continuity of representation and consistency of approach.

International Law

Libertas Chambers can field a range of quality advocates who are able to undertake advisory, consultancy and adversarial work in International Criminal Law including Genocide, Torture, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, including several members who are experienced in military tribunals. Members of Libertas Chambers have significant experience in international criminal law at International Criminal Courts and Tribunals, including appeals in cases concerning genocide, crimes against humanity and joint criminal enterprise in an international context. Members experience extends to issues of universal and extra territorial jurisdiction, transnational human trafficking, statelessness and citizenship stripping. Members of Libertas Chambers are available to advise on issues of complementarity arising in International Criminal Law investigations and the application of domestic criminal law in the context of war crimes, torture and other international crimes, to include where there are overlaps with International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights, Terrorism as an international crime, Extradition and Asset freezing regimes. We are particularly proud to have a number of members with expertise in international terrorism law who have acted in the UK and overseas in high profile cases at trial and on appeal. Our members are also experts in extradition law, particularly in the context of multinational financial crime. Members of Libertas Chambers also have recent experience across the Commonwealth and in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and have experience in death penalty cases overseas We have members on the lists and the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in the Hague and who have appeared in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)> Members provide teaching and training in a wealth of international criminal law spheres.

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Latest News
Libertas Lens – September 2021 In the September edition of our Lens newsletter, we share three new insight articles from our experts, information about our next Webinar, and some Chambers & Partners 2022 news. To view the recent edition click here To register for Libertas Lens and ensure you never miss out on our news, events and free webinars follow this link or click Join our Newsletter in the footer below.
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Successful Submission of No Case to Answer in Joint Enterprise S18 Trial Sarah Day represented a youth at Isleworth Crown Court, facing counts of S18 wounding with intent to cause GBH and S18 wounding with intent to resist arrest on a joint enterprise basis for an incident that culminated in the stabbing of a police officer. Following submission of no case to answer in respect of both counts, the jury was directed to find Sarah’s Client not guilty Sarah was instructed by Jo Chart at Sperrin Law. If you’d like to see more from us including webinars, events, and news stories, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here
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Darren Snow secures the acquittal of Nurse Darren Snow, instructed by Emma Davies from the Royal College of Nursing’s Legal Team, recently represented a nurse in a 6-day hearing before the NMC Fitness to Practice Panel. His client faced career ending allegations of dishonesty in respect of evidence she had given at an inquest in 2018 which the NMC alleged to have been false and intended to mislead the coroner. His cross-examination of NMC witnesses revealed systemic failures in management, leadership and policy at his client’s employer resulting in the dismissal of several charges on a submission of no case to answer at the close of the NMC’s case. Darren went on to secure a finding of no dishonesty with the dismissal of the remaining charges at the conclusion of the case. His client is now able to continue her distinguished nursing career with an unblemished record. For further information on the team and how we can assist you please speak to our senior clerk Marc King. Image courtesy of the NMC To stay up to date with insight articles, webinars, and chamber news why not subscribe to Libertas Lens (our periodic newsletter) – Click here to register  
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Latest Insights
Chambers Article – The new Antique Firearms Regime The law governing the possession of firearms is strict and comprehensive. However, not all forms of possession are prohibited. Many people – ranging from police officers to farmers – may have a legitimate reason to possess a firearm. This article goes further into the discussion around collector’s items and more. Click below to read in full. Download Article now To stay up to date with insight articles, webinars and chamber news why not subscribe to Libertas Lens (our periodic newsletter) – Click here to register
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Forensic Archaeology & the International Criminal Court This article contains much of what we discussed in our Libertas Lecture on 20 May 2021. The International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC) simultaneously possesses jurisdiction over a “situation” and individual “cases”. In the context of a situation there may be both victim participation and/or evidentiary issues that may affect the cases against individual accused yet to be identified by the court. This can involve the appointment of so-called “ad hoc defence counsel” to represent the interests of these future accused. Preserving evidence of international crimes, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity, occurs in the pre-trial phase of the case before charges are pleaded or even confirmed. This article goes further into forensic archaeology and its contextual use within both criminal and civil cases and takes a particular focus on counsel’s duties in the pre trial stage at the International Criminal Court Download Article now To stay up to date with insight articles, webinars and chamber news why not subscribe to Libertas Lens (our periodic newsletter) – Click here to register
Felicity Gerry QC
The Law of Joint Enterprise – Podcast When is somebody complicit in another person’s crime? This is a question spoken (and answered about) by our very own Felicity Gerry QC in a podcast she did with Sally Penni MBE. The podcast goes over various aspects of complicity in crime such as: Commercial crime Fraud Conspiracy. If you’d like, you can view the podcast here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1686745/8818598 or use the mp3 below to listen. https://www.libertaschambers.com/wp-content/uploads/episode-8-law-and-guidance-podcast-with-felicity-gerry-qc-1.mp3   If you’d like to hear more like this such as events, webinars, and more register for our newsletter by clicking here.
Felicity Gerry QC
Latest Events
Silence, Joint Enterprise and the Legal Trap – Webinar Sign up open for our next Libertas Webinar – details below Professor Felicity Gerry QC will be joined by Dr Susie Hulley and Dr Tara Young in this expert webinar highlighting the role of the law, and its agents, in generating silence among young suspects. Drawing on a study by Dr Hulley and Dr young, of serious multi-handed violence and ‘joint enterprise’ as a legal response, this webinar highlights the role of the law, and its agents, in generating silence among young suspects. These Young people face a precarious trap, as their silence is interpreted as guilt by the police, propelling them towards charge. Their study concludes that to avoid over-charging and to encourage Young people with knowledge of serious violence to talk, structural change is needed. The system must reverse the legal rules regarding silence and reform the law on secondary liability to reduce the legal risks of talking. Felicity Gerry QC is well known as defending a range of ‘joint enterprise’ cases, most recently in murder in 3 criminal trials involving young accused people aged 18, 13 and 17 in one of which a ‘no comment’ interview was excluded and another is on appeal on the issue of extensions of liability through adverse inferences. Dr Susie Hulley is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge and is on the Advisory Board for the Prison Reform Trust’s Building Futures Programme. She has worked on a range of research studies including a study of the experiences of prisoners serving very long sentences from a young age. Dr Tara Young is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at Kent University. The central focus of her research is on marginalised young people as perpetrators and victims of anti-social behaviour and violent crime. Register today – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/169434369761 To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.      
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The Mystery of Indirect DNA transfer – Podcast DNA gets in places you wouldn’t always expect it to – when a criminal case is in full swing this can cause issues as all it takes are a few mistakes and your DNA ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Our very own Felicity Gerry QC goes through this idea and many more in this webinar alongside a cast of other professionals. You can view the webinar below.
Felicity Gerry QC
Gross Negligence Manslaughter Webinar Event We recently held a webinar delving into the topic of gross negligent manslaughter – taking a deeper look into medical, drug, and food-related deaths. Presented by Professor Felicity Gerry QC and Dr Oliver Quick – Felicity defended the appeal in Rebelo where the Court of Appeal of England and Wales considered manslaughter in the context of a diet pill bought online and the scope of women’s autonomy in eating disorders. She has long experience of appearing in cases of homicide involving complex legal and medical issues. Oliver Quick is Reader in Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Health, Law and Society at the University of Bristol. He has written widely about law and patient safety with particular expertise on gross negligence manslaughter. His research was heavily cited in the Independent Review of Gross Negligence Manslaughter and Culpable Homicide established by the General Medical Council. If you’d like to find out more sign up for our newsletter here
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